classic | mobile
Follow us on:
Follow us on Facebook  Share via Twitter  Share via LinkedIn
 

Search...
Hi-Tech Security Solutions Business Directory


Protection from ransomware
February 2017, Cyber Security, IT infrastructure

If you’ve been listening to the news in the past few months, you have undoubtedly heard of a number of companies being affected by ransomware. The recent surge in this form of cyber attack has many organisations and users understandably concerned. And you should be too.

Ransomware is nasty stuff. However, with some careful preparation, you can significantly lower your risk of being infected, and reduce the impact on you or your organisation should you be hit.

Paul Williams, country manager – SADC at Fortinet.
Paul Williams, country manager – SADC at Fortinet.

Ransomware is a form of malware that infects devices, networks and data centres, encrypting critical files and prevents them from being used until the user or organisation pays a ransom to have the system unlocked. Ransomware has been around since at least 1989, when the ‘PC Cyborg’ trojan encrypted file names on a hard drive and insisted users pay $189 to have them unlocked. In the interim, ransomware attacks have become increasingly sophisticated, targeted, and lucrative.

The impact of ransomware is difficult to calculate, since many organisations opt to simply pay to have their files unlocked – an approach that doesn’t always work. However, a report on the Cryptowall v3 ransomware campaign, issued in October of 2015 by the Cyber Threat Alliance, estimated that the cost of that attack was US$ 325 million.

Ransomware generally works in one of several ways. Crypto Ransomware can infect an operating system so that a device is unable to boot. Other ransomware will encrypt a drive or a set of files or file names. Some malicious versions have a timer and begin deleting files until a ransom has been paid. All demand that a ransom be paid in order to unlock or release the blocked or encrypted system, files, or data.

What do I do to stop it?

Here are 10 things you need to do to protect yourself and your organisation from the effects of ransomware.

1. Develop a backup and recovery plan. Back up your systems regularly, and store that backup offline on a separate device.

2. Use professional email and web security tools that analyse email attachments, websites, and files for malware, and can block potentially compromised advertisements and social media sites that have no business relevance. These tools should include sandbox functionality, so that new or unrecognised files can be executed and analysed in a safe environment.

3. Keep your operating systems, devices, and software patched and updated.

4. Make sure that your device and network antivirus, IPS, and antimalware tools are running the latest updates.

5. Where possible, use application white listing, which prevents unauthorised applications from being downloaded or run.

6. Segment your network into security zones, so that an infection in one area cannot easily spread to another.

7. Establish and enforce permission and privilege, so that the fewest number of users have the potential to infect business-critical applications, data, or services.

8. Establish and enforce a BYOD security policy which can inspect and block devices which do not meet your standards for security (no client or anti-malware installed, antivirus files are out of date, operating systems need critical patches, etc.).

9. Deploy forensic analysis tools so that after an attack you can identify:

a) Where the infection came from,

b) How long it has been in your environment,

c) That you have removed all of it from every device, and

d) That you can ensure it doesn’t come back.

10. This is critical: Do not count on your employees to keep you safe. While it is still important to increase your user-awareness training so employees are taught to not download files, click on email attachments, or follow unsolicited web links in emails, human beings are the most vulnerable link in your security chain, and you need to plan around them.

Here’s why: For many of your employees, clicking on attachments and searching the Internet is part of their job. It is difficult to maintain the appropriate level of scepticism. Second, phishing attacks have become very convincing. A targeted phishing attack uses things like online data and social media profiles to customise an approach. Third, it is simply human nature to click on an unexpected invoice or critical message from your bank. And finally, in survey after survey, users feel that security is someone else’s job, not theirs.

What if I get infected?

I hope that you have a recent backup and you can wipe your device and reload it with an uninfected version. Here are some other things you need to do:

1. Report the crime.

2. Paying the ransom is no guarantee.

3. Contact experts.

4. Have a Plan B.


  Share via Twitter   Share via LinkedIn      

Further reading:

  • Intelligence and monitoring
    March 2017, Drive Control Corporation, Duxbury Networking, J2 Software, This Week's Editor's Pick, Access Control & Identity Management, Cyber Security, IT infrastructure
    Understanding the threats you face and your vulnerabilities is a starting point for securing your network.
  • J2 Cyber Security Centre launched
    March 2017, J2 Software, News, Cyber Security
    J2 Software has announced the launch of its Cyber Security Centre (CSC) which is now commercially available to support businesses focused on improving information security and governance.
  • Solving the skills shortage, ­supporting the industry
    March 2017, This Week's Editor's Pick, Cyber Security
    One local company in the cyber security world has been stung by the skills shortage, but has made a plan to resolve the situation.
  • Adapt or be hacked
    March 2017, Cyber Security, IT infrastructure
    Get the foundation right by deploying architectures that customers can lean on to deploy new technologies that will work effectively together.
  • Machine-learning for defence
    March 2017, Cyber Security, IT infrastructure, Products
    Trend Micro Network Defense brought to new levels of smart detection and rapid response.
  • High-end embedded NVRs
    March 2017, Hikvision South Africa, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, IT infrastructure, Products
    Hikvision has launched two new high-performance professional embedded NVR series with X86 architecture and Intel chipsets.
  • Wisnetworks from Regal
    March 2017, Regal Distributors SA, Products, IT infrastructure
    Regal Distributors has introduced Wisnetworks, ICASA-approved, carrier-class WLAN equipment.
  • All in one cable
    March 2017, Helukabel, Products, IT infrastructure
    Highly flexible hybrid cable for indoor and outdoor applications bundles video, audio and electrical components.
  • 200 Gb/s interconnect solutions
    March 2017, Networks Unlimited, Products, IT infrastructure
    Mellanox announces 200 Gb/s HDR InfiniBand solutions enabling record levels of performance and scalability.
  • IndigoVision launches a new range of NVRs
    March 2017, Products, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, IT infrastructure
    IndigoVision announced the launch of a new range of network video recorders (NVRs). At 3 Gbps, IndigoVision achieves twice the data recording rate of rivals.
  • AVeS appoints new MD
    March 2017, News, Cyber Security
    Professional IT services consultancy AVeS Cyber Security has appointed Cecil Munsamy as its new managing director.
  • Don’t pay the ransom
    March 2017, This Week's Editor's Pick, Cyber Security
    How to prevent ransomware infections and what to do if you can’t.

 
 
         
Contact:
Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd
1st Floor, Stabilitas House
265 Kent Ave, Randburg, 2194
South Africa
Publications by Technews
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology
Electronic Buyers Guide (EBG)

Hi-Tech Security Solutions
Hi-Tech Security Business Directory (HSBD)

Motion Control in Southern Africa
Motion Control Buyers’ Guide (MCBG)

South African Instrumentation & Control
South African Instrumentation & Control Buyers’ Guide (IBG)
Other
Terms & conditions of use, including privacy policy
PAIA Manual
         
    Mobile | Classic

Copyright © Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.